Saturday's fixture at Huntingdon was a roll your sleeves up and put a shift in affair.
This has always been a bogey ground for Buckden but they arrived in plenty of time to control the situation from the outset. The management looked for outside assistance for what was viewed as a must win game and drafted in both sons of the manager to assist with putting out cones, buying chocolate, emotional support etc.
In truth the pitch and conditions did not lend itself to Buckden's playing style and the best passages of play were observed out wide and not in the boggy centre circle (who would have thought.....) it was from a wide ball out to Dom Smith where the first goal came from as Dom was mullered in the box with the referee immediately pointing to the spot, Shane did what many before him have tried and continued to score from the spot. 1-0 and Buckden in the driving seat, unfortunately minutes later we forgot our defensive responsibilities and allowed the whole of the Huntingdon team to stream into the box, relying on Timmy to make a tackle to save the day. Tim made the tackle but the ball broke to their player and after a bit of messing about the winger lobbed international goal keeper Jan to equalise. Not our finest moment.
Half time came with the message being that we need to work harder together as a team and continue to get the ball wide, but we still needed to be aware of the ball over the top as this was Huntingdon's only outlet and option of hurting us.
The message seemed to have sunk in when Sam Underwood again found his way into the box and finished smartly to take the lead, Buckden were a lot more fluid now and some good work from the midfield allowed both wings to enjoy more play in the final third, it was while we were all look up the pitch and how great we are that the Huntingdon "gaffer" (haven’t seen his coat, but whatever..) pinged a ball straight down the middle which found the leagues top goal scorer on the wrong side of the centre half to level up. The management team were now having heart palpitations as another instruction was routinely ignored.
With the game becoming even more stretched the concentration levels were upped by the boys from the ‘den and with a few chances coming from both sides and another scrap in the middle, the ball fell to Turtle Westbury who travelled into the opposition half before switch play to the right side leaving Darren Scutt in a foot race with the fullback and a 50-50 with the goalie, proper “on your life” stuff, in truth it was exactly the right man for the opportunity to fall to as Darren did not hesitate to go to ground and poke the ball past the keeper to give the lead back to Buckden.
This left a frantic 10 minutes to play and as Huntingdon continued to push this created more chances for Buckden to counter and when Luke Fennell went through we all knew he was going to somehow mess it up, he didn’t let us down but the squad to a man battled for this win with every substitute and starter putting a shift in.
Another big game is on the horizon and the team are starting to look like a complete unit.